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MCLA Athletic Training to Collaborate with Al Pitching Academy in Adams

01/28/2014

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - A group of students at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) who major in athletic training soon will gain additional hands-on experience in the field as they embark on a service learning project at A1 Pitching Academy in Adams, where they will focus on injury prevention techniques.

According to business owner Jonah Bayliss, a Williamstown native and Mt. Greylock High School alum who played professional baseball for 10 years for five different organizations on three continents, the decision to work with MCLA's athletic training students was a "no-brainer."

"I knew from the get-go that the opportunity would be phenomenal for my clients here at A1," Bayliss said. "I am absolutely ecstatic about it."

By working with A1's clientele - most of whom are high school students aged 14 to 18 - MCLA students will be exposed to athletes of a different age group than they are used to working with, said Dr. Peter Hoyt, director of MCLA's athletic training education program.

One of the MCLA students' duties will be to perform "functional movement screens," a series of movements designed to detect asymmetries in the body, and predict a person's susceptibility to injury.

Hoyt, who is certified to conduct functional movement screens, will assist the students in that work.

The experience, which will be incorporated into several of the athletic training practicum classes for some of MCLA's upperclassmen athletic training students, will give students a sense of working within the community outside of their existing clinical sites, while promoting and educating the local community about the profession of athletic training, Hoyt said.

According to Hoyt, Bayliss relied on the expertise of certified strength coaches and certified athletic trainers throughout his professional baseball career to assist him in getting in top physical shape and preventing injury.

"He understands firsthand the value that ATs can provide; he sees a value in what our future graduates can provide for the community. He also sees a value in what our students can currently provide for the community and the athletes he works with. He values hard work and injury prevention; two philosophies that our programs share. It is a natural fit to help each other out," Hoyt said.

In addition to the six upperclassmen who will gain hands-on experience at A1 Pitching Academy, MCLA freshmen who major in athletic training will gain observational experience as a result of this collaboration.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu/athletictraining and www.a1pitchingacademy.com